New signing Devante Rodney adds good competition to Port Vale's striker options
 (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

With Devante Rodney being brought in on a three year deal to Port Vale, it now means that the Valiants currently obtain three strikers in their ranks.

The 22 year-old has come in alongside Vale top goalscorer Tom Pope and Mark Cullen who last season netted eight times in 25 appearances in what was his first campaign with the club.

Goalscoring threat in the National League

After struggling to become a regular in the Salford City lineup and following three loan spells while at the Ammies, Vale manager John Askey brought in Rodney after being released by Salford.

He is a player that due to his young age is far from the finished article, as there are still areas within his game in which he can develop, but he has particularly impressed going forward of late in the National League.

In both of his spells out on loan in this division, the striker showed to be a goalscoring threat as in his two loan spells at Halifax Town, he scored a decent 12 goals in 20 games.

Furthermore, during his time at Stockport County where he played predominantly on the right wing, he still managed to net on three occasions in 12 appearances. 

However, with him struggling to break into the Salford team on a consistent basis after only starting for Graham Alexander's side once, with his other 20 appearances coming as a substitute, this move to the Valiants is a second chance to prove that he can become a useful player in the Football League.

What Rodney can bring to Vale

The forward, who first experienced first team football at Hartlepool at the tender age of 18 in 2017, is someone who possess a fair amount of pace.

This means that he is a deadly threat when slipped behind an oppositions defence, or when his side venture forward on the counter- attack.

As well as liking to run in behind defences, Rodney is also comfortable to drop in deeper and come to feet, making him unpredictable which consequently can cause panic and trouble to opposition defences.

Finally, he knows where the back of the net is, portrayed by the decent goalscoring record that he holds in the National League.

Potential role for the Valiants next season

With the fact that Askey signed Rodney on a three year deal, it is an indication that the man who has been in charge for Vale for just over 17 months, sees something special in the youngster.

Despite this, due to it being evident that the 22 year-old still needs to develop as a footballer, it is likely that Askey will want Rodney to put in good performances off the bench before considering to start him on a regular basis.

Additionally, it may  be hard for the former Macclesfield Town and Shrewsbury Town manager to drop 34- year old Tom Pope from the starting lineup straight away. 

This will especially be the case if the last season's club top goalscorer continues to bang in the goals next campaign like he has done over the past couple of years.

Therefore, it is likely that once again he will be leading Vale's front line at the start of next season but with the addition of Rodney alongside Cullen, Pope will have to ensure that he is on his toes if wants to remain as the club's main striker on a consistent basis.

"It is a massive club"

Shortly after Rodney's move to the Valiants was confirmed, he spoke on Port Vale's Youtube channel and when asked why he decided to join the club, the forward said:

"It is a massive club and it is a club with ambition.

"I have listened to the owner and to what her ambitions are for the club which are brilliant. These are great facilities, there is a great stadium. That alone speaks volumes."

Rodney also went on to discuss his hopes for next season as a Vale player when he said: "This season is to try and match last season. The pandemic came around at an unfortunate time, the lads were in really good form.

"So anything in and around the play-offs would be an achievement and hopefully I can come in and make that impact."

Askey: Rodney can be a good player

In addition, manager Askey is clearly pleased to make Rodney his first signing of the summer, after saying to Stoke On Trent Live:

"He is strong and quick and he has decent ability as well.

"There are things in the game he needs to improve, his hold up play and his heading. But his main asset is his pace and strength.

"He is a little bit different than what we have got. At 22 you are hoping he is going to develop and turn into a good player for us.

Askey continued on to say that:

He can play out wide but his favoured position and his best position  is down the middle. When he has done that he has scored goals.

"His record in recent times when he has actually played minutes in more than one in every two."

Promising prospect

Rodney looks to have a promising future ahead of him for Vale, as he provides a further attacking option for Askey and he gives something a little different to what the manager already has in his squad.

This is something that could potentially prove to be vital in the Valiants hunt for promotion to League One next campaign and this signing also  adds further depth to an already decent team.

This will  fill Vale fans with confidence that the 2020/21 season will be looked back on as a successful one.

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